Right after we got married, my husband and I committed to making the following year our Year of Travel. That’s not to say that we traveled non-stop for a year (we wish!). But we made taking trips a personal and financial priority.
Of all the facets of travel planning, booking flights is often the biggest (and most expensive) headache.
So today, I’m outlining all the methods I learned in a Year of Travel to help you find the best flight deals and get the most bang for your buck!
Be flexible, if you have a range of dates or a variety of destinations to choose from, it is way easier to book a cheap ticket. Also consider the different departure airports you have at your disposal, e.g. JFK or La Guardia in NYC / LAX or Burbank in LA.
Travel at off times of year and/or off-season for your destination. We went to Paris in January. And yes it was cold and probably not as pretty as in the springtime, but we saved a TON.
Book multiple trips back to back, you’ll pay a tad more to fly to multiple destinations but if you book it all together it will be way cheaper than two separate trips. We do this for the holidays–booking back to back trips to visit both our families in different states.
If you book a lot of travel, I’d recommend subscribing to these newsletters and let them do the legwork for you!
- Scott’s Cheap Flights is the best travel newsletter I’ve ever come across. Scott and
his team do an incredible job of searching for the best flight deals and they send you an email when tickets are too good to pass up.
- Subscribe to newsletters from your favorite airlines. Airlines like WOW, Norwegian and Southwest will send you an email when they release a new set of low fare tickets. As soon as you see that note in your inbox, jump to booking!
Once you are ready to book, follow these steps to get the best deal:
Google Flight Search
Google Flight Search is the best way to search. They make it easy to filter through all the options and find the best price.
Check for alternate airports, if you live in or are traveling to a major city you might have multiple options for where you can fly in/out of. Just be sure to take into account the price of travel to your destination (ie – if you are traveling to Portland, ME, Boston is only a 2 hour bus ride away but it adds an extra $20 to your travel budget plus you lose those 2 hours of your trip).
If your dates are flexible, check for alternate days too.
Use Google’s flight tracker tool to watch your top choices. Google will email you when flights go down or when the trends look like they will go up.
Book with Orbitz
Orbitz is great about having a competitive price and they have really great customer service so, if you run into any issues, both Orbitz and the airline can help you get it sorted.
Don’t forget to click through using Ebates before you buy. Usually you only get a few dollars but it adds up!
Find a Better Price & Submit a Price Guarantee Form
One of the best things about Orbitz is that they offer a price guarantee. From the minute you book, you have exactly 24 hours to find a better deal and submit a request to get a refund. They not only will refund you the difference but they’ll also give you a $50 gift card to use on their site.
I use Momondo to search for a better deal. They track tons of low-cost flight booking sites and you can usually find something cheaper than on Orbitz.
Once it’s all said and done, you will have booked with a major reputable company (Orbitz) but paid the price for a low-cost flight booking site and you’ll get a $50 bonus for your trouble.
Happy travels 🙂